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Why Join Firedoglake? Because It Is the Warmest, Most Courageous On-Line Community I Know Of

12:20 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

fire - dog - lake - labtop

fire – dog – lake – labtop

It was early 2005.  The Iraq War was approaching its worst stage.  I was spending more time on-line, reading the news articles one couldn’t (and still cannot) find in the traditional media.  Political blogs were blossoming up like mushrooms after a warm Autumn rain.

One day, reading an article at Majikthise, one of the few blogs where I would occasionally comment, I followed a link to a blog with a strange name – firedoglake.  The next day, some other blog linked to an article here.  I bookmarked the site and started reading it regularly.

Soon, I decided to comment here.  It was risky, as I didn’t feel very knowledgeable on the issue at hand – can’t remember what it was – but felt I might add a little.  Within a few minutes, my comment was greeted by Jane Hamsher, who welcomed me, Edward Teller.

The blog was new then, and like a lot of lefty or lefty-ish sites then, it was much smaller, a pure labor of love by Hamsher and Christy Hardin Smith.  firedoglake was the first blog outside of Alaska where I began to regularly write comments.  I began to make a fair number of friends here.

As the campaigns in 2006 began to warm up and get going, I was able to introduce Diane Benson, the very progressive Alaska civil rights leader, running against Rep. Don Young, to a wider national audience through comments here, and articles at Down With Tyranny! Feedback on my comments here encouraged me as a writer, and helped me improve the way I organized essays.  Other commenters at “the lake” encouraged me to start my own blog, which I did in the Fall of 2007. Read the rest of this entry →

Former Senator Ted Stevens on Board Bush Plane Crash Involving Fatalities – UPDATED

8:34 am in Government, Legislature, Politics, Republican Party by EdwardTeller

[Ed. note: see comments below for more updates. If you have more current information from Alaska, please share in comments.]

Alaskan political icon Ted Stevens was on board a DeHavilland Otter that crashed in heavy rain and low visibility yesterday evening about 20 miles northwest of Dillingham Alaska. According to the latest information, there are fatalities and survivors among the nine people on board. No names of fatalities have yet been released and a doctor has been on the scene since early morning.

I’m in Chelan, Washington for a wake for my closest friend’s mom today, so won’t be covering this very closely. I got a call about midnight Alaska time from Rishi Maharish, the news director for some Alaska radio stations. Since then, some new information has emerged, and more substantial details will probably be coming out soon.

I can provide a little information that hasn’t been published in any reports yet, though.

I believe this is the airplane that crashed.

Here is an image of the lodge, owned by General Communications Incorporated, to which the plane was headed.

Stevens has been an avid fisherman during his entire Alaska residence, and the lodge to which he was traveling provides access to the Wood-Tikchik State Park, the nation’s largest state park, and one of the most spectacular scenic areas of the state. The quality of fishing for Rainbow trout and Arctic grayling in the lakes and streams of the park is legendary.

Alaska Update from One of Those Pesky, Annoying Alaska Bloggers

3:09 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Alaska’s Gov. Sarah Palin created an alternative universe this January, that conjured an image of herself as victim of "Bored, anonymous, pathetic bloggers who lie."

She was never able to cite the lie. And early this week, Palin credited these same pesky bloggers with spreading lies that led to the defeat of her nominee for Attorney General. To illustrate her point, she once again failed to cite the lie she believed we had created.

What we have done, though, must annoy her. We have challenged her to the point that she can no longer claim the mantle she once wore as an "ethics reformer."

Between Palin’s initial complaint and this week, Alaska bloggers have helped stir interest in the food and fuel crisis in villages on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, watched over her administration’s role in the North Pacific Management Council’s Bering Sea Chinook Salmon Bycatch deliberations, filed ethics complaints against the governor, and played a key role in the defeat of Wayne Anthony Ross, her nominee for Alaska Attorney General.
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Sarah Palin’s Worst Week Ever Just Got Worse – Todd’s Sister Arrested for Burglary

6:16 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Every day for the past week, another new sign the shelf life of Sarah Palin has expired came out. Beginning with volcanic eruptions that revealed unreadiness by the state for an event predicted since January, it ended with the arrest in Wasilla, of Todd Palin’s sister, for burglary. In between these two, were policy and public relations disasters, erupting one dark cloud after another.

Beginning last Thursday:

Just over a week ago, when Alaska’s Mt. Redoubt, across Cook Inlet from the Southcentral Alaska population hub, began large eruptions, it was revealed that the Palin administration had left many questions unanswered, about the status of oil stored in Chevron’s Drift River storage tank farm. It took petition after petition from watchdog groups Cook Inletkeeper and Trustees for Alaska to force the Coast Guard and state to pressure Chevron into dealing with the potential disaster. While the Palin administration had been willing to accept Chevron’s lie that only a few thousand gallons were being stored at Drift River, the actions by Trustees and Cook Inletkeeper revealed the amount to be over 6,000,000 gallons.

Now, with very little help from Palin’s administration, Chevron has been forced to begin removal on Saturday.
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Mark Begich Gives Ted Stevens an 85th Birthday Present – Assured Retirement

2:54 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

At just before 1:00 p.m, Alaska time, the Alaska Division of Elections posted new information on the Stevens-Begich vote count.Number counted so far today – 14,242Votes for Mark Begich – 146,286Votes for Ted Stevens – 143,912Begich lead – 2,374 votesHis lead before today, from last week’s count, was just over 1,000 votes. On election night, Begich was down almost 4,000. The trend in the late count votes has been inexorably in Begich’s favor.

The Ted Stevens office on Fireweed Street in Anchorage has been shut down, the signs gone. The Begich office, and the Anchorage Democrats’ offices are both humming with activity.

The Alaska Democratic Party (I’m an officer) feels that Stevens has no chance whatsoever of coming back. Most of the remaining late votes to be counted today are from Southeast Alaska, where Begich has been doing surprisingly well, so far.

Ethan Berkowitz has fallen a bit further behind Don Young, in the US House AK-AL seat count.